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Does my cat need a friend?

Does my cat need a friend?

Cats are seemingly perfectly content with keeping to themselves, but did you know they actually quite enjoy the company of other people and pets? Here, our Fairhaven vets talk about the signs that your cat needs another cat and how to introduce them to their new friend.

Should I get my cat a friend?

If your cat is suddenly acting differently than usual and they don't have a medical reason for the change then they may just be feeling lonely. For example, if they've developed erratic eating or sleeping patterns, loneliness may be the culprit. 

So are there any obvious signs that your cat is in need of another cat?

In the case that your cat may be lonely and your vet has cleared you to go ahead, we'll share seven signs that your cat would benefit from having a feline friend. 

You Notice That Your Cat is Sleeping Lots

If your cat's sleeping more than usual. If your cat isn't spending time with you like they used to it may be because he's feeling lonely and has become melancholy. However, similar to other significant shifts in habits, it's critical to bring your cat to our  Fairhaven vets for a wellness exam to rule out any medical issues before looking for a new cat to help correct this issue. 

Your Cat is Over-Grooming

Cats turn to grooming as a method of self-soothing. If your cat is unhappy or if they are suffering from a medical condition they may begin to overgroom.  If your cat has been displaying peculiar grooming habits, don't assume he's lonely, as this may point to a potential medical condition. 

Some cats may stop grooming for the same reasons as above, which could indicate that she's sad or lonely, but we recommend consulting a vet first. 

Your Feline Friend is Attached to You

Does your cat seem to be glued to your side? Becoming a nuisance to get your attention? If your kitty won't leave you alone, he may need more social interaction. This very demanding demeanor may be a sign of separation concerns. 

Your Cat Won't Properly Use the Litter Box

When cats are affected emotionally, it can manifest in a number of ways such as the sudden occurrence of them neglecting to use the litter box when relieving themselves. If your kitty was previously trained to use the litter box but starts to pee in other areas of the house, we recommend letting your vet know right away. Because cats are creatures of habit, changes in routine are like an engine warning light on your car – head to the professionals to get to the bottom of the issue. 

They Are Eating More or Less Than Usual

When cats become bored they can begin to eat more than usual, just like you or I might. This is a trait that we share with our feline friends. Alternatively, the cat may stop eating because she or he is depressed. A change in eating patterns, on the other hand, may suggest a medical problem, so discuss it with your vet first.

How to Help When Introducing the New Cat

If your cat has been showing strange behaviors but the vet deems there to be no physical concerns then you can go ahead and look into adding a new cat to your household.

When you decide to add another cat to your home it will take some finesse to ensure that everyone gets along well. Here are some of the ways you can make the introductions a success:

  • How is your cat getting along with the other cats in the neighborhood? If your cat dislikes other cats entering their territory and becomes agitated or angry when this occurs, it could be a hint that they would not accept sharing their home with another cat. Bengals, for example, are ideally suited to being sole cats.
  • Cats who are related get along better than cats that are not related.
  • Younger cats are more likely than older cats to accept new feline members of the household.
  • Because of the lack of hormones, neutered cats get along considerably better than unneutered cats.
  • Is your house large enough to give each cat their own space where they can get away from other cats if they want to?

What if you lose one cat?

If you have two cats and one of them passes away then you will likely consider getting another cat to replace them and keep the remaining cat company. We recommend giving your surviving cat some time to adjust to life without their mate before obtaining a new cat or kitten.

Cats have particular social needs, so even if they have lived contentedly beside another cat for many years, they may not feel the need for another partner.

Will the Cats Get Along With Each Other?

If your cats get along then you won't be wondering how to tell. Cats make it pretty obvious if they are happy and enjoy the company of others. Grooming each other, sleeping, or lying next to each other are examples of these indicators. They may regularly greet each other by touching noses or making a little meow as they pass.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition. 

    Do you have a new cat or cats that are in need of an exam and routine vaccinations? Contact our Fairhaven vets to schedule an appointment. 

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    New England Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Fairhaven companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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